6.3/10
6,265
31 user 60 critic

Sauna (2008)

Unrated | | Horror | 24 October 2008 (Finland)
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1:20 | Trailer
As a 25-year war between Russia and Sweden concludes, two brothers who are part of an effort to outline new border accords become undone by their actions, and their mistreatment of a young woman during their journey.

Director:

Antti-Jussi Annila (as AJ Annila)

Writer:

Iiro Küttner
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5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ville Virtanen ... Eerik
Tommi Eronen ... Knut
Viktor Klimenko ... Semenski
Rain Tolk Rain Tolk ... Rogosin
Kari Ketonen ... Musko
Sonja Petäjäjärvi Sonja Petäjäjärvi ... Poika
Vilhelmiina Virkkunen Vilhelmiina Virkkunen ... Tytär
Taisto Reimaluoto Taisto Reimaluoto ... Isäntä
Ismo Kallio Ismo Kallio ... Kylänvanhin
Kati Outinen ... Eukko
Dick Idman Dick Idman ... Roukkula
Ivo Kubecka Ivo Kubecka ... Munkki
Elena Leeve Elena Leeve ... Isännän tyttären ääni (voice)
Elena Spirina Elena Spirina ... Rogosinin äidin tuutulaulu (voice)
Peter Holmlund Peter Holmlund ... Ruotsalaisten tulkki
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Storyline

As a 25-year war between Russia and Sweden concludes, two brothers who are part of an effort to outline new border accords become undone by their actions, and their mistreatment of a young woman during their journey.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Wash your sins.

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Finland | Czech Republic

Language:

Finnish | Russian

Release Date:

24 October 2008 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Evil Rising See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€930,679 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The later scenes in the movie were shot first. For example Sonja Petäjäjärvi's character 'Poika' had her blood make-up already during her first takes, so the meeting scenes in the village (her first appearance in the movie) were shot later on. See more »

Goofs

Modern day fillings are visible in the mouth of one character. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Eerik: [Eerik just brutally killed a man with a knife] 73...
Knut: 73 what?
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent Contemplative Horror
25 October 2008 | by peas-n-carrotsSee all my reviews

Having premiered his debut feature "Jade Warrior" at Toronto in 2006, A.J. Annila returned with his second film "Sauna", yet another blend of two unexpected genres. He was originally approached to make the movie as a teen slasher-comedy, but thankfully the producers had enough faith in him to make a serious horror movie that would appeal to both the art house crowd and die hard horror fans.

Sauna follows a group of Swedish and Russian soldiers who are assigning new borders after a decades long war between the two countries has ended. In this group are two brothers; Erik, the lifelong soldier who keeps a running tally of the innocent people he's killed, and Knut, the younger more pacifist brother who is part of the group because he is an expert mapmaker. After an unexpected encounter with a farmer and his daughter, the two are haunted by unshakable guilt as they continue with the expedition. The soldiers find a small isolated village in the very center of a large swamp, an eerie place where no children have been born in years and the old do not die. It seems almost as if God has forgotten them.

With the discovery of the village and its solitary sauna, Annila builds on the horror aspects of the film and presents some genuinely scary images. The review on the TIFF website says the film recalls both Tarkovsky and Eli Roth, and I agree; Sauna is at once contemplative and terrifying. It raises questions about morality and guilt, and at the same time has scenes that are as scary as a Japanese ghost horror. The acting from Ville Virtanen and Tommi Eronen, who played the brothers, was superb. The cinematography was was also really beautiful. Overall, I feel like this is one of the best horrors of the last few years and it is highly recommended. 8/10


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